South Africa Test captain Graeme Smith signed a three-year contract with Surrey County Cricket Club.
Smith, 31, immediately takes over as Surrey’s captain, the club said in a statement on its website. He replaces Rory Hamilton-Brown, who asked for his release in September following the death of teammate and close friend Tom Maynard in June.
“Signing Graeme Smith on a three-year deal is a massive coup for Surrey CCC,” team director Chris Adams said. “As well as being one of the best captains in the modern game, he is a phenomenal opening batsman and will lead by example from the top of the innings.”
Smith has captained 94 of the 102 Tests he’s played for South Africa and scored 8,314 runs at an average of 49.78. He’s also played in 219 one-day and Twenty20 internationals.
Smith has twice led South Africa to the top of the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings, most recently this summer following a series win over then-No. 1 England.
“I am excited about what we can achieve at Surrey going forward and would like to state very clearly that I will balance my new role alongside my continuing commitments to the Proteas and I look forward to continuing to represent my country for many years to come,” Smith said.
Smith is currently with the South Africa team in Australia and will join Surrey at the end of the Proteas’ home series against Pakistan in March, the English club said.
Maynard, 23, died when he was hit by a train in southwest London. Three months later Hamilton-Brown said he was returning to Sussex, his former team.
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